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Dr Valbona Muzaka

Reader in International Political Economy


Telephone +44 020 7848 7096
Address Department of European & International Studies
King’s College London
Room 4.16 Virginia Woolf Building

22 Kingsway
London WC2B 6LE


Bona Muzaka joined the department in September 2012, having held positions at the University of Sheffield and the University of Southampton previously. She has a BA (First) in Finance and Economics, an MA (Distinction) in International Relations, and a PhD in Politics (University of Sheffield). Before joining academia, Bona worked in the banking sector and briefly at the UN High Commission for Human Rights.  She is currently a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (UK), an Honorary Research Fellow of the Political Economy Research Institute (University of Sheffield) - see her blogs here - and an editor of New Political Economy. Bona has been a visiting researcher at a number of institutions, including the University of Stockholm (Sweden), the Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (New Delhi, India), the Fundação Getulio Vargas (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) and the Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (Belo Horizonte, Brazil). She is fluent in English, Albanian and Italian, used to be fluent in Spanish and is now learning Portuguese.  

Research interests and PhD supervision
  • Knowledge Economy
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Global governance, especially of trade,      public health and intellectual property
  • Development 
  • Rising Powers, especially India and Brazil
  • International political economy

Dr Muzaka’s approach to the areas listed above is critical in nature, aiming to understand how the dynamic interplay between (state and non-state) actors with different agendas, normative understandings, discursive strategies and material capabilities within specific social, political and economic contexts results in certain outcomes and not others, and whose values/interests are represented or marginalised in such outcomes. Her work draws theoretically from critical strands of IPE and from beyond the discipline, e.g. anthropology, sociology, law and philosophy.

In terms of empirical research interests, this mode of enquiry has informed her research on the nature of the knowledge economy, the role of intellectual property titles as forms of technological rents, investigations on the social and political conflicts over the governance of intellectual property at the international and domestic level, research on conflicts in the trade regime including but not limited to the WTO, issues pertaining to global public health (especially access to medicines), and issues of development in the 21st century, with a particular focus on India and Brazil. She has published two monographs (2011) The Politics of Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines and (forthcoming, 2017) Food, Health and Hope: The State and Intellectual Property Protection in Brazil and India, and a number of journal articles and book chapters on these research strands. She also contributes to the University of Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute blog (   

Dr Muzaka is happy to consider enquiries from PhD candidates looking to work in any areas related to her research interests.

For more details, please see her full research profile.

Selected publications
  • (forthcoming, 2017) Food, Health and Hope: The State and Intellectual Property Protection in Brazil and India (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan).
  • (2016) “A Dialogic Approach to Understanding Regime Conflicts” Third World Quarterly, 38(1): 61-83.
  • (2015) (with Matt Bishop) “The End of Trade Multilateralism?” Review of International Studies, 41 (2): 383-406.
  • (2013) “Intellectual Property Rights and European ‘Competitiveness’”, Review of International Political Economy 20(4): 819-847.
  • (2013) “Prizes for Pharmaceuticals? Mitigating the Social Ineffectiveness of the Current Pharmaceutical Patent Arrangement”, Third World Quarterly, Vol.34 (1): 151-169.
  • (2013) “Contradictions, Frames and Reproductions: the Emergence of the WIPO Development Agenda”, Review of International Political Economy, 20(1): 215-239.
  • (2011) The Politics of Intellectual Property Rights and Access to Medicines (Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan)

For a complete list of publications, please see Bona's full research profile.


Valbona teaches in the area of International Political Economy, Currently, she teaches two Masters modules:

The Political Economy of Development (7AAOM221) that focuses on the issues that have defined development theory and practice in the past and present, and Global Governance and International Organisations(7AAOM220) that investigates the material and ideological structures underpinning the current edifice of global governance.

Expertise and public engagement

Dr Muzaka has been invited by a number of health NGOs to present on the issue of pharmaceutical patents and access to medicines in the developing countries. In 2010 she also presented on some of these issues at a Belgian Senate Public Hearing when Belgium had the presidency of the EU.


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